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Marauders make lead hold up

  • The Hanover girls lacrosse team gets a halftime pep talk from coach Sarah Martin during their game against Lebanon in Lebanon, N.H., on April 20, 2021. Hanover won, 15-12. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Ella Longacre, left, and Hanover's Lia Naughton vie for a loose ball during their game in Lebanon, N.H., on April 20, 2021. Hanover won, 15-12. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon girls lacrosse coach Sara Ecker speaks with her team, including from left, Molly Smith, Maddie Jewell and Sydney Gonyea during a timeout in their game against Hanover in Lebanon, N.H., on April 20, 2021. Hanover won, 15-12. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Rachel Harrington (15) runs into a wall of Hanover defenders during their game in Lebanon, N.H., on April 20, 2021. Hanover won, 15-12. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 4/20/2021 11:00:10 PM
Modified: 4/20/2021 11:00:09 PM

LEBANON — Tuesday’s season opener presented the Lebanon High girls lacrosse team with an immediate test of its will. The Raiders went down by seven goals early against Hanover but regrouped in time to force a competitive contest.

The Marauders won, 15-12, but it took buckling down against their rivals after nearly putting them away in the first half.

“I’m super pleased with our athleticism and our willingness to kind of stick through,” said Lebanon coach Sara Ecker. “We were down, 8-1. I mean, it’s pretty easy to fold up then, and they didn’t. I think that, to me, hopefully speaks volumes and that’s our crystal ball that says they’re not going to give up.”

It was all Hanover (2-0) early on as Sadie Higgins opened the scoring 4:33 into the contest with an assist from Wylie Lucas. Caroline Adams found Lia Naughton less than two minutes later. Lebanon (0-1) countered with a goal before the Marauders’ 6-0 run.

Rachel Harrington halted Hanover’s charge by collecting her own rebound — off a save by Hanover goalie Macy Demara — then carrying it a few paces back upfield before netting a turnaround shot. Sydney Gonyea scored for Lebanon soon after, then Molly Smith added to the Raiders’ tally by converting Harrington’s pass over the defense.

The hosts briefly claimed momentum, but their scoring spree was cut short when Adams and Naughton (team-leading six goals) both found the back of the net for Hanover, which led, 10-5, at halftime.

Ecker’s squad enjoyed a second-half advantage thanks to goals in the final minute by Kayla Taber and Catherine Cole.

“(If they’re) not willing to give up, not hanging their heads, not getting frustrated with themselves, not getting frustrated with each other, then that to me is a successful season,” Ecker said. “I’ll take every game of them battling every minute, and they did. I felt like they battled from the first to the last minute.”

Tuesday’s game represented the Marauders’ first real test of the young season, considering they defeated Alvirne, 21-1, in their season opener last week.

“I thought Lebanon played us really well,” said Hanover coach Sarah Martin. “They’re aggressive, they’re obviously well-coached, it was a much better game than Alvirne, so I said to these guys, ‘To beat Lebanon again, we’re going to really have to be better and take care of some of these things.’

“It’s early in the season, right? Passing and catching, decision-making under pressure, ground balls.”

Martin was hired prior to last season, but since the campaign was dashed by COVID, she’s still getting to know her group.

“I’m psyched that they got challenged today,” she said. “I’m brand-new, I never saw them play last year, none of these kids played last year. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect.”

Hanover and Lebanon will face off again Thursday, leaving minimal prep time for both parties.

“The kind of jitters, the dropped balls, the little tiny mistakes, hopefully they got some of those out of their system,” Ecker said. “Little things like just remembering to protect your stick, remembering to get your head up when you’re going to goal. Just little things like that, I think, will be big, and I’m hoping that some of them are just natural things after they’ve got that first game out of their way.”




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